M'Naghten Rule


M'Naghten Rule
The test applied in a number of the states for the defense of insanity. This test, as prescribed by statute or case law, has a number of variations in the respective states applying such. Under M'Naghten test or rule, an accused is not criminally responsible if, at the time of committing the act, he was laboring under such a defect of reason from disease of the mind as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing, or if he did know it that he did not know he was doing what was wrong. M'Naghten's Case, 8 Eng.Rep. 718 (1843). State v. Johnson, 383 A.2d 1012, 1022.
The standard under the "M'Naghten insanity" test to determine whether a person is sane is did the defendant have sufficient mental capacity to know and understand what he was doing, and did he know and understand that it was wrong and a violation of the rights of another. To be "sane" and thus responsible to the law for the act committed, the defendant must be able to both know and understand the nature and quality of his act and to distinguish between right and wrong at the time of the commission of the offense. People v. Crosier, 41 Cal.App.3d 712, 116 Cal.Rptr. 467, 471.
See also insanity, supra, regarding other tests used by courts in determining criminal responsibility

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • M'Naghten rule — A test applied to determine whether a person accused of a crime was sane at the time of its commission and, therefore, criminally responsible for the wrongdoing. Dictionary from West s Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005. M Naghten rule …   Law dictionary

  • M'Naghten Rule — The test applied in a number of the states for the defense of insanity. This test, as prescribed by statute or case law, has a number of variations in the respective states applying such. Under M Naghten test or rule, an accused is not criminally …   Black's law dictionary

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  • M'Naghten rule — noun A test of criminal insanity. ...it must be clearly proved that, at the time of committing the act, the party accused was labouring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he… …   Wiktionary

  • rule — A criterion, standard, or guide governing a procedure, arrangement, action, etc. SEE ALSO: law, principle, theorem. [O. Fr. reule, fr. L. regula, a guide, pattern] Abegg r. the tendency of the sum of the …   Medical dictionary

  • M'Naghten test — M Naght·en test /mək nät ən / n [after Daniel M Naghten, defendant in 1843 murder case heard before the British House of Lords who was acquitted due to his insanity]: a standard under which a criminal defendant is considered to have been insane… …   Law dictionary

  • Mc|Naugh|ten Rule — «muhk N tuhn», = M Naghten Rule. (Cf. ↑M Naghten Rule) …   Useful english dictionary

  • McNaghten Rule — See M Naghten Rule …   Black's law dictionary

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  • M'Naghten Rules — The M Naghten Rules (pronounced, and sometimes spelled, McNaughton) were a reaction to the acquittal of Daniel McNaughton. They arise from the attempted assassination of the British Prime Minister, Robert Peel, in 1843 by Daniel M Naghten. In… …   Wikipedia


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